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Hearing Loss

Tips for Dining Out with Hearing Loss

Posted by Admin |

Hearing Loss

Tips for Dining Out with Hearing Loss

Posted by Admin |

Tips for Dining Out with Hearing Loss

Is dining out one of your favorite pastimes? Do you often find restaurant noise levels distracting to the point that it prevents you fully engaging in the experience? If yes, we have some tips for dining out with hearing loss to help.

Tips for Dining Out with Hearing Loss

A recent study by Zagat showed that when it comes to dining out, it’s not the food that gets the highest volume of complaints. In fact, the most common complaint (with 24% of the votes) was the noise levels. If you have a hearing loss, excessive noise in a restaurant can make the experience of dining out less pleasurable and frustrating. There are, however, some simple ways to help you enjoy your experience dining out.

Choosing a Venue

Noise in popular dining venues has led to the creation of a great smartphone application called ‘Soundprint’. Users of the app are constantly compiling a database of quiet spots such as cafe’s, restaurants and more. The app allows you to search for a venue based on real customer feedback and decibel readings. You can also add your own feedback to help grow the database even larger.

Researching the venue you plan to dine in is a great first step towards ensuring an enjoyable dining experience. Read customer reviews and check out the photos online. Concentrate on the decor, avoid large open spaces with high ceilings, large television screens or hard floorings. Instead, look for the less contemporary adornings of carpet, curtains, table dressings, cushioned chairs, corner booths, outdoor patios and plants etc. These can all help to absorb sound, thereby providing a quieter environment.

Get a sense of how well lit the space is. Better lighting makes reading lips or seeing facial cues easier.

Making Your Reservations

When making a reservation for your meal, aim for…

  1. A quieter day of the week (avoid weekends or public holidays where possible)
  2. A quieter time of day i.e. before 5pm or after 8pm.
  3. Keep the party size to a manageable level.

Explain Your Requirements

When you make your meal reservation, we recommend that you highlight your requirements. If this isn’t possible, you can outline your requirements upon arrival, but to ensure that your requirements are met, it’s best to sort them in advance!

Ask to be seated further away from the kitchen, bar, entrance and serving station. Center tables are often the loudest. Where possible, opt for seating on perimeter, booths with high backs or corner tables are ideal. When seated, sit in the middle of your group.

Don’t be afraid to mention if your table or the background music is too loud when you arrive.

Be upfront about your hearing difficulties with both your companions and the waiter/waitress. Politely ask them to face you and speak clearly and slowly. Ask if they have a printed list of the specials.

Finally, be sure to use the available features on your hearing aids to help you. Adjust the settings accordingly for background noise and conversation. Consider your type of hearing aid device, it may be best to sit with your back to the wall, unless you have a directional microphone and then it’s best to sit with your back to the noise.

Maintaining a healthy social life can help keep you active and less prone to feelings of isolation. Seeking professional advice and treatment for a hearing loss can boost your confidence, making socialising more accessible. Call us on (212) 786-5741 if you have any questions or to book in your next hearing assessment.

Posted by Admin

What Gifts To Get For People With Hearing Loss

Thinking of the perfect gift for someone is often a delicate matter. But what if that person has a hearing loss? Don’t worry, we’re here to help. Here’s our list of our top gift suggestions to help you this holiday season.

Bone Conduction Headphones

Bone conduction enables you to hear sound through the vibration of the bones in your skull, namely the jaw and cheekbones. Bone conduction headphones connect through a cell phone’s Bluetooth or wired connection. Using the vibrations in your facial bones, sound waves bypass the outer and middle ear to directly stimulate the inner ear. These help to enhance sound quality while filtering out external noise.

Noise Cancelling Headphones

These headphones are a great idea for commuters or anyone who wants to block out background noise to focus on their music, audiobook, film etc. It can also help users listen to their media at lower volumes, thereby providing an added benefit!

TV Headphones or TV Ears

These combat the problem of hearing the sound from the television by improving the clarity of dialog without needing to turn up the volume excessively. These headphones connect via  Bluetooth or radio waves to transmit the signal from the television directly into the headphones.

Alarm Clocks

It may sound like a strange gift idea for someone with a hearing loss. However, there are a number of alarm clocks that would make a great gift. Vibrating alarm clocks are extra loud, have a vibrating pad to shake your pillow or bed as well as an option for a flashing light. Some can also connect wirelessly to your phone. Another option from Philips is a clock that wakes you gradually with a sunrise simulation. The clock will gradually begin to illuminate from the time of sunrise.

StereoBar Loudspeakers

Most people are listening to the television through its built in speakers. Usually these speakers are not very good and adding some additional sound support can make it easier for everyone to hear better, especially those who are hearing impaired.

Digital Doorbells

These are a practical gift that keep giving. Whenever the bell rings, a notification or alert is sent to the mobile which notifies the person.

Hearables

Hearables are wearable technology that can be used to modify the way you hear in a manner similar to hearing aids. They have become quite fashionable too. Features include vital sign monitoring, activity tracking and personal biometric identification. They can also offer ‘Smart’ capability for synching to your Smartphone, and layered listening to filter out or enhance specific sounds.

Feeling inspired? We hope so! Another gift to consider is a hearing test with the offer of your support by accompanying your loved one. If you would like advice on how to approach this topic, we are happy to help. Call us on  (212) 786-5741 or click here to request an appointment today.

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Ten signs of hearing loss you can’t afford to miss

If you had hearing loss, would you know it? Not necessarily. Hearing loss often starts subtly and symptoms can take decades to manifest themselves as it progresses slowly over time. The most common type of hearing loss, age-related hearing loss (presbycusis), can shift so gradually that you may not realize how much you are missing. In fact, as hearing worsens, you may subconsciously adjust everyday activities and social interactions to cope with hearing difficulties. In time, you might not notice how gradually hearing loss has diminished your ability to live your life to its fullest. Luckily, you can do things to improve this situation and re-engage with loved ones.

Knowing the signs of hearing loss is key to success

There are many signs of hearing loss. It starts with everyday annoyances. Some are blatant, others are subtle. If you or a loved one are showing these signs, we encourage you to make an appointment for a complimentary hearing assessment.*

  1. “People are mumbling” – This could indicate hearing loss.

    You may notice that certain words are difficult to understand. People, especially women and children, may seem to be talking too softly or not enunciating their words. Chances are you find yourself saying, “What did you say?” all the time. If this sounds like you, you may be experiencing hearing loss.

  2. Are restaurants too loud?

    Restaurants are among the hardest places to navigate for people with untreated hearing loss. Background noises, such as clinking dishes, people speaking loudly at other tables and loud music all make it exceptionally challenging to follow a conversation.

  3. Social gatherings aren’t fun anymore

    People talking passionately, music, laughter and other competing sounds can make it harder to take part in get-togethers with family and friends. Perhaps you find yourself “sitting out” of the fun or heading home early. There is good news. You don’t have to. The professionals at Sutton Hearing & Balance can help you with ways to cope with hearing loss so you can enjoy the holidays with this simple guide to enjoying social events with hearing loss.

  4. Conversations take too much effort

    Are you exhausted at the end of the day, or a end of the meeting at work? The stress of straining to hear what others are saying can take its toll on your wellness.

  5. Telephone conversations are a struggle

    Telephone, and especially cell phone, transmission is not perfect. Most people can fill in the gaps. Hearing loss compounds the problem and you may struggle to take in the information. This may lead you to avoid phone calls and resort to texting.

  6. Hearing loss affects you and your loved ones

    Hearing loss can take an emotional toll on you and your loved ones. If one or more of these descriptions ring true to you, hearing loss may be the culprit.

  7. High volume is a sign of hearing loss

    Even if you think the volume is fine, if your family and friends complain that you turn up the volume too loud when you watch television or listen to music, you may be experiencing a well-known sign of hearing loss. Are you tired of the constant battle to enjoy TV with family or friends at a sound level that makes everyone happy? It might be worth it to check your hearing, if only to make your family happy.

  8. Are your ears ringing?

    Tinnitus, or ringing in the ears, is often the first sign of hearing loss. Tinnitus impacts people of all ages, and may be attributed to trauma, exposure to loud noise or illness. It might be a slight annoyance or make it difficult for you to concentrate, sleep, work and even maintain relationships. According to the American Tinnitus Association, 56% of people with tinnitus also have hearing loss.[i]

  9. You are out of balance – loss of balance is a sign of hearing loss

    Hearing loss may be a sign of an underlying condition that is also impairing your balance. Researchers at Johns Hopkins Universityii found that even a mild degree of hearing loss tripled the risk of an accidental fall.

  10. You are opting out of engaging with people

Is hearing loss putting you in solitary confinement? Have you noticed that you are embarrassed to meet new people? Perhaps you are afraid to join in because you may not understand what is being said. Perhaps you withdraw if it is easier to live without straining to hear people.

Other signs of hearing loss – You are not yourself

Have you felt depressed, distracted or unengaged? Hearing loss has been linked to dementia, depression and other brain-related ailments, including stroke.

Take the first step to better hearing

Perhaps you’ve avoided getting treatment because you are afraid of the stigma that some people associate with hearing aids. That’s old-school thinking. Besides, today’s hearing aids are minicomputers that subtly fit your ears – and your lifestyle.

To get started, we encourage you to come in for a professional hearing assessment. Book an appointment to speak with a professional about addressing your hearing loss.*

Posted by Admin

Tips for Hearing Your Family This Holiday Season

The holiday season is a time of the year when family and friends get together and celebrate. The opportunities to welcome your nearest and dearest into your home are plentiful. However, large gatherings often result in a loud environment, which can be especially challenging if you suffer from a hearing loss. We’ve compiled some top tips to help you enjoy this time of the year, and “hear” for the holidays.

The Basics  

Whether it’s yourself or one of your guests with a hearing loss, the aim is for everyone to enjoy the Holiday Season. Here are some basic tips to help anyone with a hearing loss.

  • Before you speak to someone, get their attention either by saying their name or briefly touching their hand or arm.
  • Always face the person you are speaking with.
  • Speak slowly and clearly, try not to shout.
  • Actively listen and never interrupt.
  • If you suffer from asymmetric hearing loss (hearing loss is more pronounced on one side), try orienting yourself so that your best ear is closest to your companion.
  • Adjust your hearing aid levels accordingly before the gathering. Do not forget to use any additional programs that are designed for noisy conversational situations

Lighting

If the gathering is taking place at your home, be sure to keep the room well lit. Candles are nice and cozy, but good lighting will make it easier for anyone with a hearing loss to lip read or use other visual cues that help them converse. If you are not in your home, try to seek out well lit areas and position yourself so that you are close to those you wish to speak with.

Background Noise

If you are hosting the gathering, be sure to set any background music or television to a low level. If possible, also set aside a quiet area that’s slightly removed from the group. This enables anyone struggling to hear to concentrate on 1-on-1 conversations.

If you are away from home, don’t be afraid to mention to the host that you have a hearing loss. Request the volume of any background noise be turned down a little. Or simply ask whomever you are talking with if you can relocate somewhere more quiet to continue your conversation. If you are watching a movie, ask for the closed captioning to be turned on.

Partner Up  

If you know someone else attending the gathering, why not ask them if they mind staying close and partnering up? They can fill in the blanks and boost your confidence by ensuring you don’t miss a moment of the conversation. This is a more subtle way to enable greater inclusion and enjoyment for everyone involved.

Hearing loss shouldn’t hamper anyone’s ability to enjoy the holiday season. If you are concerned about your hearing and would like to discuss further, please do not hesitate to get in touch. Call us on (212) 786-5741 or click here to request an appointment today.

Posted by Admin

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